BlogIs it time to check the health of your baggage handling system?

If you’ve travelled by air recently, you’ll have noticed that planes are increasingly crowded. While airlines constantly look to increase revenue and throughput, it inevitably impacts on an airport’s baggage handling system (BHS).

While aircraft movements across Europe have been stable since 2005, there has been a significant increase in passenger volumes – from less than 500 million in 1990 to almost 2.5 billion in 2018.

Manufacturers have been releasing planes with higher passenger capacity and more airlines are putting them into circulation as they retire older aircraft. As a result, the new planes are making it possible to transport more people per flight.

Most routes for the major carriers are also operating at a +95% load factor. This has allowed airlines to increase revenue, without increasing the number of flights or expanding their fleet.

Assessing the impact

This increase in air traffic often has a lurking problem – the impact on an airport’s BHS. Passenger throughput, the number of gates and various baggage policies are important factors when determining the size and capacity of a BHS.

IATA is predicting that 8.2 billion people will be travelling by air in 2037, doubling current figures in just 17 years. The industry standard for domestic check-in bags has been 0.8 bags per person for the last decade, and 1.5 per person on international flights.

Even without the increase in plane size, the increasing passenger volume is expected to lead to a 27% rise in checked luggage.

While certain airports are busy updating to Standard 3 baggage screening, others are still using older systems. However, these were not designed to be scalable and are unable to adapt to dynamic flight changes and variations in baggage flow.

The right solution

Finding a solution tailored to the needs of an individual airport should begin with an honest system evaluation. A short-term method of increasing BHS efficiency doesn’t always require a complete system overhaul.

We offer comprehensive analytics tools that provide insights into BHS performance. Our VIBES software uses high-level controls technology to adapt to increased passenger flows and perform dynamic traffic routing.

It also provides insights that give stakeholders the tools to plan for future growth. In addition, Vanderlande VIDI is software that searches, monitors and analyses big data, via a web-style interface.

A full health assessment

Before such solutions can be used to their fullest potential, it is essential to know the health of an airport’s existing BHS. Process engineering analysis can provide system checks, investigations and full health assessments.

Using the findings, BHS stakeholders and Vanderlande can develop a plan to increase efficiency. These less invasive solutions will improve performance and enable the stakeholder to achieve system improvements without investing in a new BHS.

In the longer-term, one solution is an individual carrier system (ICS) such as Vanderlande’s TUBTRAX, in which baggage is transported in a ‘tote’. This provides complete uniformity because every tote is the same length and texture, enabling a more efficient operation and higher throughput.

Engineered for high redundancy, reliability, low maintenance, and higher speeds, an ICS could be the best solution for a growing airport. An additional benefit is the traceability of bags. Since every bag has an individual carrier, pairing one with a unique tote reduces the chance of mishandling.

Alongside increased reliability and operational efficiency, as well as lower mishandled bag rates, an ICS solution offers potential for additional operational improvements, such as early bag storage. This can help distribute peak loads and provide flexible load times.

Future-proof baggage operations

Owing to increasing passenger loads, pressure continues to be put on baggage handling infrastructures at airports. This in turn increases the chance of breakdowns, mishandled bags and bottlenecks.

Our services and software solutions can offer unique insights into an airport’s BHS situation, and make short-term improvements. EBS and ICS are longer-term solutions that help future-proof baggage operations by creating highly efficient, high-capacity systems.

Want to know more? Download the whitepaper!

If you have been a passenger on a major airline in the last ten years, you might have noticed planes are more crowded than ever. The increase in air traffic often has a lurking problem that many passengers don’t realize, the impact on the baggage handling system. Find which solutions you can implement to cope with growing passenger volume in this whitepaper.

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Want to know more? Download the whitepaper!
Maurits Kalkhoven
Author
Maurits Kalkhoven
Strategic Sales Analyst

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